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934613 Posts in 61379 Topics- by 14789 Members - Latest Member: Dennis T Menace
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1  Classified Advertisements / Classified Advertisements / No longer "WTB" (Want to Buy) TROMBA Pro Metallic Brass on: Jul 05, 2014, 07:39AM
I'm looking for a starter trombone for my 5th grader who wants to play trombone.

If anyone has a TROMBA Pro in Metallic Brass that they would like to depart with, please PM me or send me an email.

I won't be needing it until August/September 2014 but because these items are not well stocked in the various retail outlets I'd like to find one in advance of need date.

UPDATE:
I went ahead and ordered from link on Christopher's Bill's website. Sort of bizarre that the order went to Dan Feng's paypal and yahoo account. But I used my Amwerican EXpress so if it turns out to be a scam I'll get my money back.

Thanks for the info Garry!

Sorry, dj kennedy ... I had ordered it just a couple of hours before your post. It's too bad because I have no idea how long is will take to get delivery.

2  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: High range issue on: May 23, 2014, 03:45AM
I have a few comments and suggestions. You probably already know this given your level of playing but sometimes we need to be reminded of the basics.

1) Whatever you do, be sure to maintain what you have by keeping balanced workouts. Keep your great sound in the middle register and love hearing your sound there.

2) Working on your upper register is often helped by working on your lower register -- one helps the other. Work from the middle upwards and work from the middle downwards.

3) Changes in sound and timbre when moving into the upper register can be caused by unnecessary tightening and tension in the neck, throat, and upper chest. This changes the way the sound resonates within the horn and your body. It is a natural tendency to want to "help" by engaging other muscles when we think things should be hard. That "help" is exactly what we do *not* need! You had better train yourself to just get out of the way. It should feel easy (just as easy as it feels in the middle register). If you start to feel tightening in the upper chest, neck, throat, then it is guaranteed that your sound will suffer. When performing, you will do what you must, but when practicing in the comfort and solitude of your own place, never "force it." If you practice that way, then that is exactly what you will get in the end. Be vigilant to sense any difference in feeling as you progress upward in register. You will find that keeping your cool really helps.

I have been practicing this way for a couple of months now, and it is working. It takes time and patience. It helps when there is no specific timetable or expectation as to when (e.g., next month) you should be where (high D flat). Just enjoy it and make it sound and feel easy. That is your only hope Obi Wan. It takes time. Make sure your time is well spent by practicing in a way that will give you the ultimate result you seek.

Final thought: For me at least (you will hear different opinions on this) I don't do much mouthpiece buzzing yet. It doesn't help to develop a resonate sound because it is the feedback and resonance of the horn and body that create good sound. There is no feedback or resonance on the mouthpiece alone. I have found that the mouthpiece buzzing only helps when done right. This is not so easy to do. Many will play on the mouthpiece entirely differently than when they play on the horn.
3  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Legato on: Apr 05, 2014, 06:45AM
Here's a concise quote on the subject of legato. "Legato on the trombone is often a matter of style. Whatever the style, always blow air to the lips, not to the tongue."
Frank Crisafulli.

And to answer earlier questions as to how "the pros" do it I can say that Crisafulli would use the tongue only when needed, that is, for natural slurs he did not add tongue.
4  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Coming back on: Apr 05, 2014, 02:39AM
When you specify 20 minute sessions ... Is that 20 minutes of face time spread over 45 minutes? I take a fair amount of resting even within one practice session.
5  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Interesting perspective on breathing on: Apr 03, 2014, 09:43AM
Clearing up some mis-information here ... The diaphragm is indeed a muscle. It is used primarily for inspiration (taking air in). The other muscles, particularly in the chest area and the abdomen, do the exhaling that is needed to develop air pressure for a wind instrument.
6  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Interesting perspective on breathing on: Apr 03, 2014, 07:17AM
Hey guys, maybe you should read this comprehensive description by a medical doctor and by Arnold Jacobs. It describes how breathing works for playing a brass instrument.

Having searched and found this article ... clarinet-saxophone.asn.au/wp-content/uploads/The-Dynamics-of-Breathing.pdf ... "The Dynamics of Breathing — Kevin Kelly on the legacy of Arnold Jacobs" ...

I thought it would help our discussion.

The article explains it much more comprehensively but here is my short version.

There are two sides of the air flow and remaining air supply "equation" when playing. After we've tanked up as it were we actually hold back the air flow to maintain a given air pressure. When our air supply is low, we use greater exertion to get that air flow out and to maintain air pressure. There is a point in the middle where we cross from one side to the other in terms of effort to get the same air flow and air pressure.
7  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Interesting perspective on breathing on: Apr 03, 2014, 06:05AM
empty
8  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Interesting perspective on breathing on: Apr 02, 2014, 11:52AM
On the subject of breathing (in-breathers vs. out-breathers and such) I have a question / observation regarding "pranayama."

Of the six types of pranayama, ugdeeth pranayama is the form of breathing exercise where one fully inhales, and then slowly and in very controlled fashion releases the breath. That sounds a lot like whole tones (with or without) crescendos to me.

In my casual web surfing, it is advised to do "pranayama" early in the morning and on an empty stomach. Exactly just why, I have no idea. It is also recommended that the length of time for a session will depend on one's level of experience/performance. This sounds like an initial daily practice routine.

I am looking for wisdom here, so if any on this forum can share, please do. I am all ears. Thoughts?
9  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Coming back on: Apr 01, 2014, 05:08AM
Thank you for your comprehensive guide to coming back! Very well written and thought out.

I have been doing pretty much everything you said here for about a month now. Having tried this once before as well, I have learned that it is good to have low expectations (or no expectations) but steadfast determination, time, and patience. In the words of my former instructor, "Do not force it. Let IT come to YOU."

Another idea is to form your own group rather than looking for someone else who is looking for a person. I plan to have a brass quartet that plays church hymns (easy stuff) once a week on Sunday with one rehearsal during the week.

I noticed chapter numbers in your write-up. Are you writing a book on this?

Again, thank you for taking the time to post this.
10  Creation and Performance / The Healthy Trombonist / Udgeeth pranayama on: Mar 31, 2014, 06:06AM
I couldn't help but notice that "ugdeeth pranayama" and the daily, initial practice routine of world class trombonists have a lot in common. In my casual web surfing, it is advised to do "pranayama" early in the morning and on an empty stomach. Exactly just why, I have no idea. It is also recommended that the length of time for a session will depend on one's level of experience/performance and that it should be done under expert guidance. Now, this is really sounding a lot like practicing the trombone.

Of the six types of pranayama, ugdeeth pranayama is the form of breathing where one fully inhales, and then slowly and in very controlled fashion releases the breath. Well, that sounds a lot like whole tones (with or without) crescendos to me.

Now add in the bit about having the perfect amount of tension, and there you go, "ugdeeth pranayama and trombone" are like "peas and carrots."

I am looking for wisdom here, so if any on this forum can share, please do. I am all ears. Thoughts?
11  Creation and Performance / The Healthy Trombonist / Re: Exercising to music on: Mar 31, 2014, 05:42AM
First of all, I like to hear good music whether it is new, old, or otherwise. And I don't like music that I don't like. To each their own.

In my spinning, aerobics, and TRX classes I do favor music that allows the tempo and rhythm to go with the exercise. For example, I like my spin rotation to be in easy multiples, that is, one rotation for one beat of music, or perhaps one-for-two or two-for-one. Sometimes the tempo does not cooperate. I try 2-for-3 or 3-for-2, but it gets weird when I have to multiply or subdivide in more complicated ways.

12  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Returning Musician on: Mar 20, 2014, 03:14AM
Because it sounds like we are at a similar place (just getting back into trombone and working consistently and diligently toward regaining chops), I plan to share insights I have while relearning the trombone and I hope you all on this forum might do the same for me. In the first few weeks, I played a lot in the lower register because I didn't want to force anything. Then I read a post by Doug Elliot advising somebody about their embouchre ... to beware not to develop a "low register" embouchre position setting. So, I made attempts to start playing more in the middle register. It took a while, but this approach was worthwhile I believe. I still play in the easier lower range a lot but I definitely am going into the middle register often. One thing I (re)learned while doing this was that playing whole notes only wasn't helping as much as when I play my sustaining whole tones with legato articulation (half note, quarter note, eight note) and all other styles of articulations as well ... all with the feeling of a sustained whole note. I play my scales and arpeggios this way (no articulation, legato, and various types). This sort of practicing seems to help stabilize my embouchre setting while also developing clear, unforced, fine sound into adjacent registers.
13  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Returning Musician on: Mar 19, 2014, 03:12PM
Here's one bit of advice that I can offer which has been working for me:  I've been striving to keep it feeling and sounding easy. To do this I have a limited range. I stretch from the middle toward both registers (upper and lower). I am not pushing it too hard. Sort of like stretching in yoga. It takes regular workouts. And be sure to include decrescendos with those whole tones.
14  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Returning Musician on: Mar 19, 2014, 10:27AM
I started about a month ago after quite a while away from the horn. It helps to start with low expectations. I seem to have great progress one day, and then the next day I wonder why I am not better than the day before. I have a fair amount of up and down from day to day. However, from week to week I definitely have made progress. I am hoping that I see a positive trend from month to month as well. Time will tell.

15  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: What's on your music stand currently? on: Mar 18, 2014, 03:18AM
Sort of funny, as a returning trombonist having been away from the horn for some time, I have absolutely nothing on my stand. In fact, it's been a few weeks now and I don't even have a music stand. But, I do have a good practice routine going from memories of old when I used to play a lot. I am looking forward to playing the Tomasi Concerto for Trombone the way I used to play. I play a lot of "tunes" in all keys, registers, dynamics and articulations.
16  Teaching & Learning / Beginners and Returning Trombonists / Re: Typical Range on: Mar 17, 2014, 06:20AM
“What is the typical range expected of a trombone player?”

A beginner in first week, F to Bb on the staff, on the first year Bb to F, 1 ½ octave.
High school low F to high Bb, 2 ½ octave.
University or good amateur or “semi pro” contra Ab to high C.
Professional orchestra tenor bone contra F to high F (above high Bb)
Bass trombone about a third lower.

That is a typical range expected of trombone players by composers.


I like your very concise answer to the question asked. Excellent! I would add that one should strive to maintain fine sound while stretching to the next level.
17  Teaching & Learning / Practice Room / Re: Soft Playing on: Mar 17, 2014, 05:02AM
Have you tried experimenting/practicing with no tongue at all? That is, go back and forth between articulation and no tongue.
18  Creation and Performance / The Business of Music / Re: Business Aspects of Teaching Private Lessons? on: Mar 10, 2014, 06:23AM
I think Eastcheap knows a lot more about this than I do.

There are a number of things you have to do to declare yourself a "non-profit" and it's not a way to legally lose money.  You can't run your business just like a for-profit business and then declare non-profit if you don't make any money.

You can close your business at any time.  There may be some issues about depreciable expenses on closing.  Talk to an accountant about that.  Example of depreciable expense: the studio you built -- you have to depreciate it over (I think) 5 years.

From the tone of your questions I suspect you are bucking for an IRS audit; they are on to people who try to game the system.

Awesome advice. Thanks so much.

I don't mind being audited provided I have done everything legally and properly. I'm currently in the thinking about it and planning stage.
19  Creation and Performance / The Business of Music / Re: Business Aspects of Teaching Private Lessons? on: Mar 10, 2014, 05:48AM
I'm not a tax lawyer, but I did try what you say.

1.  The IRS wants you to be cash positive 3 years out of 5.  If not, they will start looking at this as a hobby.

2.  You can deduct ITA membership, Musician Union membership (probably a good idea if you consider yourself a professional musician), educational expenses, supplies, repairs, etc.  If you are modifying a room to be your studio there are some VERY strict rules about a "home office".  You probably would do much better to rent a room at a local music store and teach from there.

3.  Deducting a trip to a trombone conference better show that you attended a seminar or three on pedagogy.  Deductions for expenses on these things are carefully watched; especially meals and lodging.

4.  If you are going to have an employee you'd better be making enough money to justify it.

5.  Travel expenses to non-paying (volunteer) gigs are deductible as a charitable contribution whether you are in business or not.  At the volunteer rate.

The IRS is wise to people who do "hobby business" to try to avoid taxes for recreational activities or to "hide" expenses for home improvements.  The burden of proof will be on you.

Thank you for the helpful information. Not trying to be irksome or persnickity here, but I have a few follow up questions. By the numbers ...

1. Cash positive 3 out of 5 years ... Does this mean I can lose money for the first 2 years, and, then make $10 in the 3rd, 4th, and 5th year?

2. From the perspective of losing more money, wouldn't it be better to build out your private studio in the basement to lose more money since you've only got 3 years to do so? How about if you lose money for 3 years, and then "give up?" Would those 3 years be still valid losses?

3. In order to play well, one must know what it sounds like. So from this perspective, wouldn't attendance to listen to live trombonists qualify as well (rather than just learning how to teach)?

4. This seems to go back to the general "how much can you lose and for how long" question.

Not in the numbers: What about conducting business as a "non-profit"?
20  Creation and Performance / The Business of Music / Re: Business Aspects of Teaching Private Lessons? on: Mar 10, 2014, 05:19AM
... so in other words if you aren't teaching like 20-30 kids a week then there's no point to declaring this business...

Well, au contraire, if I declare this as a business, and I am losing $5K to $10K per year, then I am reducing my (Federal and State) taxes substantially.

Say for example, that I declare a business as "PatrickOSmith Trombone LLC" -- but I'm not quite there yet in terms of performance (in fact, let's just say I really totally suck for 5 to 10 years while I am getting my chops back) -- then can I be losing money for these 5 to 10 years? (Yes, I'm sure I could come up with a better name for the business, but I think you get my point).

The question I have is ... to what extent can one lose money before the IRS gets a bug up its butt? And what expenses are acceptable. For example:

a) Would it be acceptable to build a sound proof practice/teaching room in the basement of my house and equip it with recording gear as a part of my teaching and (potential future) performance career?

b) Would it be acceptable to deduct membership fees of ITA?

c) How about expenses for attending international trombone workshop locations (yeah that one in Germany or Australia would be awesome)? How about the expenses of my business manager who happens to be a close family member? Would their expenses to travel to these locations also be acceptable?

d) How about paying said close family member a salary?

e) How about travel expense to / from non-paying gigues (like weekly rehearsals in a local band)? The rationale here would be that even though the activity is a non-paying gigue, it does satisfy the business need for "sales and marketing."
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